A Billy Fitzhugh Christmas

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A Billy Fitzhugh Christmas

  1. 1. Smoothie Sims, Inc. proudly presents… A Billy Fitzhugh Christmas (The author would like to extend her sincer est apologies to Char les Schulz)
  2. 2. Christmas time is here Happiness and cheer Fun for all that children call Their favorite time of year
  3. 3. Snowflakes in the air Carols everywhere Olden times and ancient rhymes Of love and dreams to share
  4. 4. Sleigh bells in the air Beauty everywhere Yuletide by the fireside And joyful memories there
  5. 5. Christmas time is here We’ll be drawing near Oh that we could always see Such spirit through the year! ***
  6. 6. “I think there must be something wrong with me, Snow. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy.”
  7. 7. “Why’s that, Billy?” “I don’t know. I was all excited to be home for Christmas break and everything, but now that I’m back, instead of feeling happy, I feel sort of let down.”
  8. 8. “Is there something going on at home?” “Not really. Well, I got to meet the new baby today.” “Awwwww! How’s your sister?” Billy had to smile, remembering Elle’s proud expression as she handed over her son, Charles, for inspection. “Really happy, but exhausted. She and Stuart both look like taking care of Charlie has been running them into the ground. They haven’t had a lot of help because Dad’s got a bad cold and M om’s working on her new Christmas tree lot.” “Tell them that if they ever need some help or someone to babysit, they can give me a call.” “Trying to get in some practice, dear?” he teased.
  9. 9. “Do you really blame me? I mean, we’re going to have kids someday, right? We can’t let all this beauty go to waste.” Snow paused. “You do think I’m beautiful, don’t you, Billy?” “Well…” She gasped dramatically. “You didn’t answer right away! You had to think about it, didn’t you? If you had really thought I was beautiful, you would’ve spoken right up! I know when I’ve been insulted!” “You’re the most beautiful woman in the world, and you know it,” Billy said, laughing. “I’ll pass it on.” “Great. So, listen…my parents called today to invite us to Christmas dinner. I don’t know if you’d want to go, but if you did, Saffy’s going to drive back, so we could get a ride with her.”
  10. 10. Billy hesitated, sitting up. “I’m sure that’d be great, Snow, but…I really wanted to spend Christmas with my folks this year. We haven’t had a real Christmas in years, and I just thought--” “Oh, honey, don’t worry about it,” Snow said quickly. “I completely understand.” “Thanks.” He sighed. “Well, maybe we should go spend Christmas with your family. I don’t think it’s going to be much of a holiday this year, either, everyone’s so busy.” “No, don’t think like that. You want this to be a good Christmas for your family, so you’ve got to do your best to make it one. You need to be involved.” “What do you mean?” “I don’t know…you could plan something for us all to do together.”
  11. 11. “I could, yeah…hey! Let’s have a Christmas Eve party!” “Really?” “Yeah! I could get a tree from M om’s lot, and we could all decorate it together and sing carols and read Christmas stories, maybe play a game, make some holiday snacks.” “I bet your family would love that, Billy,” Snow said warmly.
  12. 12. “I think so too. Hey, wanna go somewhere? We could go ice-skating.” “Yeah, that sounds great! Is that new outdoor rink open?” “Think so. Why don’t we check it out?” ***
  13. 13. “Harry, stop. You have got to get some rest.” “I feel like I’ve been resting nonstop. I can’t lie down all the time while everyone else is so busy.”
  14. 14. M ya took her husband by the shoulders and turned him to face a nearby mirror. “Just look at yourself. You’re an absolute mess.” Harry tried to cover his cough with a laugh. “On the contrary, I didn’t think I looked that good.” “Harry! I mean it! If you don’t take it easy, you’re not going to kick this cold.” “All right, all right, I’ll stay in.”
  15. 15. “Hey, parents!” “Shut the door, Billy,” M ya replied, barely glancing back. “Just a sec.” He finished shaking the snow off quickly and shut the door behind him before peeling off his coat and heading into the living room.
  16. 16. “Are you feeling any better, Dad?” “A little, I suppose. You look cheerful. Where have you been?” “I went to see Snow and we went skating. It was great. Oh, speaking of that--M om, would you mind if we had a party here on Christmas Eve?” “How big a party?” “Just the family. I thought we’d cook dinner and invite Zuzu and Dom and Snow over.”
  17. 17. “That sounds fine to me, Billy. I’m going to head over to the tree lot for a few hours. Would you like to come?” Despite receiving permission to carry out his plan, Billy still felt uncomfortable. “I might come by later. I told Zuzu I’d go visit her today, so I’m going to head over there first.” “Certainly. Will you make sure your father takes a nap and gets something to eat, then? He’s awful at taking care of himself.” Harry rolled his eyes good-naturedly, and Billy had to grin. “Sure, M om.”
  18. 18. After M ya left, Harry went upstairs to his room and Billy went to the kitchen to see what he could put together for lunch. He wasn’t the greatest cook—he figured he would let Snow handle that department once they got married—but every little bit he could contribute to the wellbeing of the family was important.
  19. 19. “M mm, I smell food,” Elle commented, walking in. “Hey, Ellie. I didn’t know you were home.” “I’m always here. Just hiding. What are you making?” “I thought I might try not burning chili.” “Sounds delicious. Can you make enough for Stuart, too? He’s out shoveling snow and ought to be back in a little while.”
  20. 20. Billy complied, and soon enough the three of them were sitting around the table, eating the surprisingly decent chili and discussing party plans. “I think a Christmas party is a wonderful idea,” Stuart said, enthusiastically, when he had finished. “We are all so caught up in various preoccupations that it would be nice to set aside some time to relax and enjoy one another.” “Exactly what I thought,” Billy agreed. “Can we help with anything?” Elle asked. “Well…” He definitely needed all the help he could get, but Elle and Stuart were under so much stress because of their new baby and because running the house had fallen completely on them that it didn’t seem right to ask. “I need to make a list of things we should do, and if I need help with any of it, I’ll let you know.” “Fair enough.”
  21. 21. The next item on his to-do list was to visit his oldest sister and her husband, which he set out to do immediately after lunch.
  22. 22. The harried atmosphere at his parents’ house had not escaped him, and that seemed to be doubly the case at Azula’s-- he arrived to find her sitting on the couch and looking deeply uncomfortable, while Dominic hurried around in an attempt to do a million things at once. “Hey, guys.” “Hey, Billy boy!” Azula straightened a little and put down the book she had been reading.
  23. 23. Dominic left the dishes long enough to give his brother-in-law a hug. “Good to see you, Billy.” “It’s great to see the two of you, too,” Billy said. “Can I help you with anything?” “Oh, no, don’t worry about it. Just keep Azula c ompany for a minute while I finish straightening up.”
  24. 24. Obediently, he took a seat and directed his attention to Azula. “How are you and the baby holding up?” “We’re doing all right. Aunt Bella put me on bed rest until the baby’s born, though.” “There’s nothing wrong, is there?” “Some complications, nothing major. It’s more of a precaution than anything.” “I’m glad to hear it. You’re not allowed to let anything happen to my favorite sister.” “I’m flattered, Billy, but you’d better not go around saying things like that in front of Ellie.” “Ellie’s my favorite sister, too,” he said innocently, receiving a playful poke in return.
  25. 25. Dominic joined them then, and Billy got down to business. “I wanted to invite you two to a Christmas Eve party I’m putting together. It’s not going to be anything big, just dinner and some Christmas carols and tree decorating and stuff.” Azula glanced at her husband. “I think if I’m careful, I should be able to walk across the street for a family party.” “Yeah, that sounds great, Billy,” Dominic agreed. “We’ll definitely be able to make it unless something happens.” …unless something happens. Billy knew that Dominic did not expect any such thing to get in the way of their plans, but the words felt ominous anyway. He shook it off, putting a smile on his face. “That’s great! I’m really looking forward to having the whole family there.”
  26. 26. “Yeah, it’s been a while,” Azula said. “Last time was our wedding.” “That wasn’t that long ago,” Dominic reminded her, with an affectionate smile. “These things just happen. Children grow up, families spread out a little. It’s natural. We’re all lucky to live so close to each other.” Billy remembered that Dominic hadn’t seen his parents in a very, very long time, and was no doubt missing them more than ever now due to the holiday season and the fact that he and Azula were expecting a baby. He supposed that they were lucky, at least in that regard.
  27. 27. He stayed to talk with them for about an hour, and when Azula excused herself to take a nap, he went on a grocery run with Dominic before he went home. ***
  28. 28. Soon enough, Billy put his list together and assigned tasks to various people. Stuart would be in charge of Christmas songs, since he was the best pianist of all of them, while Elle and Snow had both promised to help him with making a turkey and some other foods. That left Billy to take care of the tree and the decorations.
  29. 29. Because he wanted to do the decorating at the party if possible, he didn’t want to get the tree too early, and so he waited until the day before to go to his mother’s lot and pick one out. Unfortunately for him, by the time he made it there, M ya had sold all of the larger, fuller trees, and was left with a dwindling supply of smaller ones. “Is this all?” he asked her, after surveying them. “Yes, it is. Sorry, kiddo.” M ya patted his arm sympathetically. “You should have told me you wanted one a couple of days ago. I would have put a nice one on hold for you.” Billy bit his lip, trying not to be frustrated that that thought hadn’t occurred to him. “It’s okay, M om.”
  30. 30. “Do you want me to order another tree?” “Nah, it might not make it here by tomorrow. A small tree will work fine.” He put a smile on his face. “This little one here seems to need a home. We’ll decorate it, and it’ll be just right for our party.”
  31. 31. By the time he got home with the tree, he really believed what he had said to his mother at the lot. The size of the tree didn’t matter. It meant they would have to clean up fewer pine needles when it came time to get rid of it, and the top would be easier to reach so accidents were less likely to happen during decorating. He set up the tree in the corner and surveyed it with more than a little pride, then went to find Elle so they could get started on a cake. ***
  32. 32. “You know, Stuart, I always thought Für Elise was sort of depressing, and today’s Christmas Eve. Would you mind playing something else?” “If you absolutely insist, love.” “How about Jingle Bells?”
  33. 33. As he launched into the first chords, Billy walked into the room. “Hey, you two. Is Dad up yet?” “Not that I have noticed,” Stuart said, and Elle shook her head in agreement. “Okay, I’ll just go c heck to make sure he’s all right.”
  34. 34. “Dad? You awake? It’s almost noon.” A fit of coughing sounded behind the door. “I’m awake but I don’t feel well enough to get up,” came the reply. “I talked to Bella earlier. She thinks it might be pneumonia.” Billy felt a sinking feeling in his chest, but pushed it away. “Can I get you anything?” “I’m all right for now, kiddo. I think I’m going to have to skip your party, though. I don’t want to give this to anyone and especially not Azula.” “Don’t worry about it, Dad. Just get better.”
  35. 35. Further disappointment came a couple of hours later. “Listen, Billy, I might be home late tonight,” M ya said. “Things are really busy here because of the Christmas Eve rush.” “Not too late to miss the party, right?” “No, I don’t think so. I won’t be there when Azula and Dominic come over, but I should make it back before they leave. Maybe even in time for dinner.” Exasperated, he gritted his teeth. “Okay, M om. Thanks for letting me know.”
  36. 36. “We can’t do anything about it, Billy,” Elle said, when he told her. “Its not your fault, okay? We’ll still have a good time and I’m sure Dom and Zuzu will be happy enough not to have to cook their own dinner tonight.” “You’re right, you’re right. Okay. I’m not going to stress out about it anymore.” That resolution didn’t last long.
  37. 37. “Well, hello there, little Dante!” Elle cooed over the newborn baby while the proud father held him up for inspection. “I’m your aunt Ellie. It’s so nice to meet you!” “He’s beautiful,” Stuart said, grinning. “You must be so proud.” “I am,” Dominic said. “He’s the best Christmas present I ever got.” Billy smiled, but it was tight. His Family Sim nature couldn’t decide whether to be pleased about his new nephew or horrified that his timing was another disruption to his carefully-laid party plans. It was a given that Azula would now not be able to come, and Dominic was not about to leave her at home alone with the baby.
  38. 38. When they left for home, Billy sent Elle and Stuart on ahead, saying that he wanted to take a walk. He waited until he was out of earshot before letting it all out. “Look, I know my family sucks at togetherness, but why do we have to have a holiday season to emphasize it?” he shouted to the sky. “Why do I even bother? Everything I do turns into a disaster!”
  39. 39. Frustrated, he marched off through the snow. ***
  40. 40. “What do you mean, the party’s canceled?” “The whole plan’s a bust, Snow. My dad wouldn’t rest enough so now his cold’s turned into pneumonia, Mom couldn’t care less about the holidays so she won’t even be home in time, and Azula’s baby picked today to come.”
  41. 41. “Oh, she had the baby?” Snow asked excitedly, momentarily sidetracked from her concerned-girlfriend routine. “Is it a boy or a girl?” “Boy. They named him Dante.” “Why aren’t you happy, Billy? You have a new nephew to spoil.” “Of c ourse I’m happy for my sister, Snow, but he would have waited one more stinking day so at least something about this could go right. Good grief, I couldn’t even find a decent tree to decorate!” “Oh, but I love the little tree…”
  42. 42. “I think we should go to your parents’ house after all. We can still make it if we leave tonight.” At this, she blanched. “What about Elle and Stuart?” “I don’t know, we can have dinner with them or something before we go, I just…I can’t spend another lukewarm Christmas here, Snow. I can’t.” She wasn’t sure what to say to that, and after a short silence, Billy hung up.
  43. 43. In any other situation, Snow would have been fine with the change of plans, but she knew how set Billy had been on having a nice Christmas with his family, and she didn’t want to see that ruined for him. Yet she wasn’t sure what to do.
  44. 44. After a moment’s thought, she determinedly picked up the phone again. “Hi, Ellie? It’s Snow. I need your help.” ***
  45. 45. Billy spent the rest of the afternoon packing a few things for the shotgun roadtrip and occasionally throwing things around his room to vent his frustration. Deep down, he knew that it was pointless to get riled up about events that were out of his control, but he couldn’t help it. He had had a few hours to cool off, but it hadn’t made a difference, and all he wanted was to get out of there. “Hey, Billy?” his sister called up the stairs. “Could you come down here?” “Sure, just a sec.” He didn’t want to, but he supposed it was the least he could do to make up for leaving Elle and her husband alone on Christmas Eve.
  46. 46. Closing his suitcase, he walked down to the living room…
  47. 47. …and immediately took a step back. “What’s going on here?”
  48. 48. “M ERRY CHRISTM AS, BILLY!”
  49. 49. “I…what?” Harry advanced first, giving him a quick, light hug. “I have to get back to bed, but I thought I’d come make an appearance since it was so important to you,” he said, voice only slightly raspy. “Uh, okay Dad,” Billy said, still staring at the rest of the assembled family and the bedecked tree in shock. Harry winked, patted him on the shoulder, and headed upstairs.
  50. 50. “Do you like your surprise, Billy?” “Uh, yeah…I thought you weren’t going to be home…” “I decided that being with my family was more important. If someone needs a tree, they can find another lot to get one from.” “…you sold them all, didn’t you?” “Well, yes, but that’s not the point. The point is that even if this one little round-headed kid hadn’t bought the last one, I still would have come home.”
  51. 51. “I know you’re upset that everything didn’t go exactly the way you planned it, Billy,” Elle added, “but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have a good time together. Christmas isn’t about making everything go the way we want it to.” “Then what is it about?” he asked, just to be perverse.
  52. 52. In response, she plucked a book off the nearby shelf. “‘And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night,’” she read. “‘And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”’”
  53. 53. Billy smiled sheepishly. “You’re right, Ellie. Thanks. I needed that.” Glancing around once more, he let out a little laugh. “You even made the tree look amazing.” “I never thought it was such a bad little tree,” she said, shrugging. “It just needed a little love.” “By the way,” Stuart added, “there is a telephone call on hold for you. That is, if I managed to press the right buttons.”
  54. 54. Surprised, Billy turned and picked up the receiver. “Hello?”
  55. 55. “Hey, Billy boy,” the exhausted, but happy voice of his oldest sister greeted him. “Sorry we couldn’t make it to your fiesta. How does next year sound?” He grinned. “Sounds great, Zuzu. Don’t worry about it. We’ll save you some turkey.” ***
  56. 56. Hark, the herald angels sing Glory to the newborn King
  57. 57. Peace on earth and mercy mild God and sinners reconciled
  58. 58. Joyful all ye nations rise Join the triumph of the skies
  59. 59. With th’angelic host proclaim Christ is born in Bethlehem Hark, the herald angels sing Glory to the newborn King! ***
  60. 60. Cast Written by Charles Schulz Billy Fitzhugh - Charlie Brown Directed by Bill Melendez Snow Bohemian - Lucy Adapted for The Sims 2 by smoothiequeen87 Elle Fitzhugh - Linus “Christmas Time is Here” and “Hark, The Herald Angels Sing” were both originally Stuart Legacy - Schroeder part of the soundtrack of A Charlie Brown Christmas Azula Fitzhugh Doran - Sally The passage read by Elle (Luke 2:8-14) is the same one recited by Linus in the original film Dominic Doran - Shermy Harry Fitzhugh - Pig-Pen Turn the page for some fun behind-the-scenes pictures! --> M ya Fitzhugh - Snoopy
  61. 61. (I really did send them skating cause I wanted cute pics, and come on, I never get to send anyone skating.) So, just in case I haven’t made it terribly obvious, my Christmas special this year is a loose retelling of A Charlie Brown Christmas. If you haven’t seen it, here’s the basic plot: Charlie Brown is despondent because everyone around him seems to concerned with the commercial aspects of Christmas. He is asked by Lucy to be the director of a Christmas play, and after trying in vain to knock some Christmas spirit into his actors, he goes out and buys a little tree hoping that it will help. Everyone makes fun of the tree because it’s scrawny and not flashy enough. Frustrated, he asks if anyone can tell him what the meaning of Christmas is, and Linus recites a passage from Luke that makes him realize that he doesn’t have to let commercialism ruin his Christmas. The general idea seemed to fit with the current situation of the family, and originally I was going to put a lot more emphasis on commercialism, but it didn’t work with most of the characters involved. I am sorry to say that this story is not canon in any sense. The family dynamic is based on a partial projection of what things might be like in the near future, but other than that, it really can’t get any more AU than it is. Sorry, guys.
  62. 62. Just a few comments on setup--even if I couldn’t get the story to be exactly like the movie, I wanted to make as many references to it as I could, so I wrote the script first. M any of the lines (most of them Billy’s) are quoted verbatim from the movie, and quite a few others directly reference something that happened in it (Elle and Stuart’s brief exchange about Für Elise, for example, is a tribute to a conversation between Lucy and Schroeder.) I also wanted to include much more Christmas décor than I was able to. The reason I didn’t is that Nicky IV (my new laptop, for those of you who haven’t met him yet) and Holiday Stuff do not get along. Fortunately for me, EA released a Christmas tree on the Exchange, and I was able to download and use that, which was all I really needed. Speaking of the tree, I’m going to have to ask you guys to suspend your disbelief as to how an average-sized tree can miraculously turn into a giant with a little decoration. Which is also something that happened in the movie. Observe -->
  63. 63. See? That’s just how the Peanuts universe rolls.
  64. 64. If I couldn’t have the Holiday Pack, I at least had to have snow, so there was a LOT of this going on at various points during filming.
  65. 65. There was also quite a bit of this. Billy: “Why is there a microwave on our front lawn?” Elle: “I think I just found out.”
  66. 66. Elle: “OW LABOR NOT COOL AT ALL” I can’t decide if Stuart is so terrified he can’t move, or just unreasonably calm about the whole thing.
  67. 67. Of course, that’s nothing compared to what M ya did, which was to go up to her son-in-law and gossip about the birth WHILE IT WAS STILL IN PROGRESS.
  68. 68. M eanwhile, Dominic tried to record Azula’s labor for posterity, but I’m sure she threatened him with something appropriate to get him to quit it. He better not do this when it comes to the real thing, that’s all I have to say. I was actually hoping that both babies would be girls and wrote girl names into the script. Which of course meant they would both be boys. I didn’t have a backup plan for Elle and Stuart (if they had had a daughter, she would have been named Elizabeth, shortened to Beth) so when I found out they’d had a boy, I chose the first vaguely Victorian name that popped into my head, Charles. Zuzu and Dom will be naming their kids after the voice actors who did Avatar, the show Azula’s namesake comes from. Dante is named for Dante Basco, the actor who plays Azula’s brother Zuko. A girl would have been (and will be, if they give me one) Grey, after Grey DeLisle, who does Azula’s voice. And because I know you want to see how the babies turned out…
  69. 69. Here’s Charlie, who is TOTALLY adorable…
  70. 70. …and Dante, who is not only totally adorable, but has inherited his dad’s awesome powers of dance. :D
  71. 71. The setup took me a couple of days because of finals, but once I was done with that, it took me about five-and-a-half hours to film the whole thing. I ran into a couple of snags along the way, including this one--I had to shoot around this funny thing Azula’s top does when she sits down. I had originally had a very different shot in mind that I was unable to do because the pose I wanted to put her in didn’t work with the couch, so in the end I just shot around the gap, which is hardly noticeable at the right angles.
  72. 72. I also had to reacquaint myself with OM SPs, which I haven’t used in a year (since the photoshoot I did last Christmas, actually) which took some getting used to, but also made shots like this one possible. Having Stuart and Elle sit on the piano bench together was something I really wanted to do and wasn’t sure was possible, and it isn’t without OM SP’s (even if you put in snapobjectstogrid false, a piano player will snap back to the proper seat if you get them anywhere near the bench). I was really proud of a lot of the shots I was able to do with these. M uch love for SilentLucidity @ M TS2 who made them.
  73. 73. So I hope you enjoyed the little detour into AU-Land! I had a lot of fun putting it together. I’ll see you all soon with the next proper update :D Until then, Happy Simming, and M erry Christmas/Happy Holidays! --- Thank you to Di and Jamie for allowing me to use their Sims, the lovely people I talk to on AIM for the encouragement through the writing process (especially Lauri, who contributed one of M ya’s lines), and to Charles Schulz for the Peanuts characters and the lovely story I shamelessly borrowed ^_^

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